Q&A with Halloween Baking Championship Host Richard Blais

by in Shows, October 1st, 2015

Richard BlaisOn the new show Halloween Baking Championship, expect to be blown away by some of the extremely creepy creations the bakers make, but even more than that, be ready for probably the scariest panel of judges you will ever see, and a host who’s not afraid to deliver some deadly news to eliminated bakers. Judges Carla Hall, Ron Ben-Israel and Sherry Yard will be dishing out critiques, while Richard Blais will be sending home those bakers who don’t meet the spooktacular criteria of the $25,000 competition show. Before you tune in for the premiere on Monday, October 5 at 9|8c, get to know each of them a little better.

Richard has appeared on Bravo’s Top Chef and later went on to win Top Chef All-Stars. He’s a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and operates his own company, Trail Blais, which includes restaurants from Atlanta to San Diego, including his most-recently opened, Juniper & Ivy.

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Five 5-Star Ways to Get Your Sweet Potato Fix — Fall Fest

by in Recipes, October 1st, 2015

Whiskey-Glazed Sweet PotatoesSweet potatoes are really a year-round wonder, so we don’t typically wait till fall to get our sweet potato fix. But now that comfort food season is setting in, we can’t wait to glaze, mash and roast these innately sweet beauties all season long. Load up on our top comforting sweet potato recipes, each with 5-star ratings, that you’ll swear by all season long.

Forget the marshmallows. Guy Fieri’s Whiskey-Glazed Sweet Potatoes come topped with sweet whiskey-soaked pecans. It’s all glazed in agave syrup spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, plus a hit of cayenne and whiskey, for a sweet and spicy side dish.

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Don’t Worry — You Don’t Have to Eat This Neon Udon

by in News, October 1st, 2015

Don't Worry — You Don't Have to Eat This Neon UdonWas the world clamoring for glow-in-the-dark udon? No matter, the neon noodles have arrived.

A self-dubbed “mad scientist” and food writer from Japan who goes by the pseudonym Kurare Raku (and appears in photos wearing a fox mask) has created a buzz by tweeting out an image of fluorescent pink noodles floating in a glowing green broth.

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One-on-One with the Next Eliminated Celebrity Recruit — Worst Cooks in America

by in Shows, September 30th, 2015

Barry Williams and Jaleel WhiteThis season on Worst Cooks in America, seven celebrity recruits have signed up to be whipped into shape by mentors Anne Burrell and Rachael Ray, but unfortunately one recruit has to be eliminated in each episode. Last week Dean Cain’s time was cut short when he wasn’t chosen for a team. This week one of the early frontrunners let the pressures of the competition affect his cooking, and it put him in the bottom two; an elimination challenge determined which of the two would exit Boot Camp. FN Dish has the exclusive exit interview with tonight’s eliminated recruit.

SPOILER ALERT: Read on to find out who went home.

Q&A with Halloween Baking Championship Judge Sherry Yard

by in Shows, September 30th, 2015

Sherry YardOn the new show Halloween Baking Championship, expect to be blown away by some of the extremely creepy creations the bakers make, but even more than that, be ready for probably the scariest panel of judges you will ever see, and a host who’s not afraid to deliver some deadly news to eliminated bakers. Judges Carla Hall, Ron Ben-Israel and Sherry Yard will be dishing out critiques, while Richard Blais will be sending home those bakers who don’t meet the spooktacular criteria of the $25,000 competition show. Before you tune in for the premiere on Monday, October 5 at 9|8c, get to know each of them a little better.

Sherry began her culinary career in New York City before moving on to jobs in London, San Francisco and Los Angeles, where she became Wolfgang Puck’s pastry chef for his worldwide operations. She has since gone on to produce television cooking shows for Puck and others. She is currently in the process of reviving Helms Bakery in Los Angeles.

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A Few Good Apples: 7 Apple Varieties and the Best Uses for Each

by in Recipes, September 30th, 2015

There’s no doubt about it: When it comes to fruit, Americans prefer apples — not just for their taste and versatility, but for their robust health benefits and year-round availability, too. A recent study found that apples account for 29 percent of the fruit consumed by U.S. kids daily. To keep up with the demand, growers have begun reviving long-gone heirloom varieties, and high-tech breeders are creating new strains for every taste — tart apples, sweet apples, apples that don’t brown after cutting. But a quick trip to the grocery store can easily turn into an ordeal when faced with the dozen or so varieties in rotation at any given time. While this is nothing compared with the tens of thousands of apple varieties available in the U.S. at one point, it’s still a lot when you consider how heavily modern agricultural practices have streamlined our choices.

As we enter prime apple season, it’s important to keep in mind that not all breeds are created equal. While some varieties were destined to star in your Thanksgiving apple pie, others are better suited for applesauce, salads or eating fresh out of hand. If you’ve been underwhelmed by previous attempts to cook or bake with apples, the problem may have nothing to do with your kitchen skills and everything to do with your choice of fruit. The following are just a sampling of the countless breeds you’ll find in markets every fall, with tips on the best uses for each variety.

Fuji
As a general rule, Fujis are too juicy for baking, but they’re great for eating fresh. Use them to add a touch of sweetness in salads and slaws — or, slice them up and use them as a sweet-crisp complement to your fall cheese board, as Rachael Ray does in her recipe for Warm Brie with Fuji Apple, Pear and Melba Toasts. However, if gently simmered on the stovetop, Fujis can make a wonderfully sweet and supple topping for fresh baked goods, as you’ll find with Food Network Kitchen’s Souffle Pancake with Apple-Pear Compote (pictured at top).

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Valerie Bertinelli Is Inviting Fans Back Into Her Kitchen for a New Season of Valerie’s Home Cooking

by in Shows, September 30th, 2015

Valerie BertinelliValerie Bertinelli is back to share more of her mouthwatering recipes in the second season of Valerie’s Home Cooking, premiering Saturday, Nov. 7 at 12:30|11:30c. Whether it is a fun poker night, an irresistible Thanksgiving feast or just a simple Sunday dinner, Valerie offers useful tips and tricks for preparing crowd-pleasing, homemade dishes that everyone will enjoy.

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Keyboard Waffle Iron Makes Breakfast for Every Type

by in News, September 30th, 2015

Keyboard Waffle Iron Makes Breakfast for Every TypeWhy did nobody come up with this idea before: a waffle iron that makes waffles in the shape of a keyboard? Well, no matter. Now, thankfully, someone has.

Actually, Brooklyn-based graphic artist and designer Chris Dimino first created the prototype for the Keyboard Waffle Iron while he was a student at the School of Visual Arts in New York. Assigned to take an old item and modify it to give it a new function, he turned a vintage Smith Corona typewriter into a very cool breakfast tool. (Bing!)

Dimino’s prototype was featured in a group show and got a lot of attention back in 2007, but it wasn’t until last year that he put his concept up on Kickstarter in hopes of raising the cash to manufacture the Keyboard Waffle Iron on a broad scale and make it available to the QWERTY-waffle-hungry masses. Dimino hoped to raise $50,000. Thanks to 850 keyboard-shaped-waffle-craving backers, he raised $66,685.

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6 Ways to Upgrade Vanilla Pudding

by in Food Network Magazine, Recipes, September 30th, 2015

vanilla pudding

Pudding is perfect for just about any mood. Whether you’re grumpy or happy, pudding offers a cupful of comfort. It’s also super-easy to whip together at home.

To make your own (without the packet), start with Food Network Magazine’s basic vanilla recipe, which calls for just a few of ingredients you likely already have on hand.

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3 of a Kind: Kombucha Cocktails

by in Restaurants, September 30th, 2015

Betony 3 of a Kind checks out three places across the country to try something cool, new and delicious.

Part fermented potion, part hippie-joke punchline, kombucha existed long before yogis and hipsters caught on to it. The ancient beverage — made with fermented tea, sugar and scoby, a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast — has now started popping up on cocktail menus. It’s beloved by bartenders who combine it with juice, beer and spirits to create thoroughly modern cocktails.

Marco Polo, Betony, New York
At Betony, kombucha is made with a scoby that is four or five years old. Inspired by the explorer of the same name, the Marco Polo is a tour of the world: The drink combines refreshingly sour tea (which originated in China) with bittersweet amaro from Italy and an IPA representing India. The drink is garnished with cucumber and is great as an aperitif. Kombucha is also served with a variety of seasonal ingredients, such as cranberry, tobacco or chamomile.

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